The Volstead Act
The congressional act that created prohibition was called the Volstead Act, after Representative Andrew Volstead of Minnesota chaired the Judiciary Committee in the 66th and 67th Congresses (1919-1923)
Oct 19, 2011, 6:12pm
The Alien and Sedition Acts
In 1798 the United States stood on the brink of war with France. The Federalists believed that Democratic-Republican criticism of Federalist policies was disloyal and feared that aliens living in the United States would sympathize with the French during a war. As a result, a Federalist-controlled Congress passed a collection of laws, known as the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Oct 16, 2011, 8:00pm
Sherman Act, 1890
The Sherman Antitrust Act has stood since 1890 as the principal law expressing our national commitment to a free market economy in which competition free from private and governmental restraints leads to the best results for consumers. Congress felt so strongly about this commitment that there was only one vote against the Act.
May 9, 2011, 4:00pm
National Labor Relations Act, 1935
The National Labor Relations Act, also known as the Wagner Act, passed through Congress in the summer of 1935 and became one of the most important legacies of the New Deal.
May 5, 2011, 11:07pm
Coinage Act, 1792 (The Mint Act)
In 1791, Alexander Hamilton suggested the establishment of a national currency. Congress enacted this legislation following his recommendations the following year.
May 5, 2011, 10:38pm
Social Security Act Amendments - Medicare, 1965
The Social Security Act Amendments was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965, in Independence, MO. It established Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly, and Medicaid, a health insurance program for the poor.
May 5, 2011, 2:06pm
Pendleton Act (Civil Service Reform Act), 1883
The Pendleton Act classified certain jobs, removed them from the patronage ranks, and set up a Civil Service Commission to administer a system based on merit rather than political connections. As the classified list was expanded over the years, it provided the American people with a competent and permanent government bureaucracy.
Aug 11, 2006, 6:49pm
Civil Rights Act, 1964
The assassination of John Kennedy in November 1963 left most civil rights leaders grief-stricken. Kennedy had been the first president since Harry Truman to champion equal rights for black Americans. But on November 27, 1963, addressing the Congress and the nation for the first time as president, Johnson called for passage of the civil rights bill as a monument to the fallen Kennedy.
Aug 11, 2006, 6:40pm
Federal Highway Act of 1956
The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, authorized the building of highways throughout the nation, which would be the biggest public works project in the nation's history.
Aug 11, 2006, 6:11pm
Kansas Nebraska Act, 1854
The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which spawned "Bleeding Kansas," was another dramatic episode in the struggle between pro- and antislavery advocates.
Aug 11, 2006, 6:06pm
Boulder Canyon Project Act, 1928
The Boulder Canyon Project Act, passed in 1928, authorized the Bureau of Reclamation to construct Boulder Dam on the Colorado River, thereby creating Lake Mead above the dam.
Aug 11, 2006, 5:47pm
Keating Owen Child Labor Act, 1916
The Keating-Owen Act banning articles produced by child labor from being sold in interstate commerce. The act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court just two years later.
Aug 11, 2006, 3:36pm
Tennessee Valley Authority Act
This act of May 18, 1933, created the Tennessee Valley Authority to oversee the construction of dams to control flooding, improve navigation, and create cheap electric power in the Tennessee Valley basin.
Aug 11, 2006, 3:31pm
Lend Lease Act, 1941
The Lend-Lease Act, approved by Congress in March 1941, gave President Roosevelt virtually unlimited authority to direct material aid such as ammunition, tanks, airplanes, trucks, and food to the war effort in Europe without violating the nation's official position of neutrality.
Aug 11, 2006, 3:22pm
Social Security Act, 1935
FDR had proposed a three-part program of old-age security consisting of: old-age welfare pensions; compulsory contributory social insurance (what we now think of as Social Security); and a third-tier which would consist of optional annuity certificates sold by the government to workers who, upon retirement, could convert the certificates to monthly annuities which would be used as supplements to their basic Social Security retirement benefit.
Aug 11, 2006, 3:14pm
Morrill Act, 1862
Passed on July 2, 1862, The Morrill Act made it possible for new western states to establish colleges for their citizens. The new land-grant institutions, which emphasized agriculture and mechanic arts, opened opportunities to thousands of farmers and working people previously excluded from higher education.
Aug 11, 2006, 2:45pm
Homestead Act, 1862
The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens. 270 millions acres, or 10% of the area of the United States was claimed and settled under this act.
Aug 11, 2006, 2:24pm
The Alien Act
The Alien Act is one of a collection of acts passed in 1789 known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Aug 10, 2006, 7:29pm
Judiciary Act of 1789 - Part 1
In the Judiciary Act of 1789, the First Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary that the Constitution had sketched only in general terms.
Aug 10, 2006, 7:15pm
Judiciary Act of 1789 - Part 2
In the Judiciary Act of 1789, the First Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary that the Constitution had sketched only in general terms. (part two)
Aug 10, 2006, 7:14pm
Chinese Exclusion Act
The door to the Chinese American dream was finally slammed shut in 1882, when Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. This act was the first significant restriction on free immigration in U.S. history, and it excluded Chinese laborers from the country under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.
Aug 10, 2006, 6:39pm
Interstate Commerce Act, 1887
Approved on February 4, 1887, the Interstate Commerce Act created an Interstate Commerce Commission to oversee the conduct of the railroad industry. With this act, the railroads became the first industry subject to Federal regulation.
Aug 10, 2006, 3:50pm
The Patriot Act - HR 3162
The USA Patriot Act was passed 45 days after the September 11th attacks on America. The act is supposed to faciliate the hunt for terrorists, but it has severely impacted our civil liberties in the process.
Aug 10, 2006, 11:16am
Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the Department of Homeland Security to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States and to aid in the recovery of any attacks that do take place.
Mar 17, 2006, 11:25pm
Pacific Railway Act
In 1862 Congress passed the Pacific Railway Acts which designated the 32nd parallel as the initial transcontinental route and gave huge grants of lands for rights-of-way.
Mar 17, 2006, 11:21pm
Compromise of 1850
With the Compromise of 1850, Congress had addressed the immediate crisis created by territorial expansion.
Mar 17, 2006, 11:07pm
General Order 143: Creation of the US Colored Troops, 1863
During the Civil War approximately 186,000 African Americans served in the Union army in the U.S. Colored Troops. Black soldiers served in volunteer cavalry, artillery, and infantry units, but the opportunity to serve as regulars in the Army was not afforded African Americans until after the Civil War. In 1866, due in large part to the wartime service of the U.S. Colored Troops, Congress authorized the army to raise six black regiments: four infantry and two cavalry.
Mar 17, 2006, 8:18pm
The Sedition Act
The Sedition Act is one of a collection of acts that is known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Mar 17, 2006, 7:52pm
Dawes Act, 1887
Approved on February 8, 1887, "An Act to Provide for the Allotment of Lands in Severalty to Indians on the Various Reservations," known as the Dawes Act, emphasized severalty, the treatment of Native Americans as individuals rather than as members of tribes.
Mar 17, 2006, 7:51pm
The Alien Enemies Act
The Alien Enemies Act is one of a collection of acts passed in 1789 known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Mar 17, 2006, 7:43pm
Yellowstone Act, 1872
By Act of Congress on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park was "dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" and "for the preservation, from injury or spoilation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders. . . and their retention in their natural condition." Yellowstone is the first and oldest national park in the world.
Mar 17, 2006, 5:58pm
Act of Congress Establishing the Treasury Department
The U.S. Treasury Department was established in 1789 to manage the finances of the newly formed nation, and Alexander Hamilton was appointed as the first Secretary of The Treasury.
Mar 17, 2006, 12:29pm